Jun 9, 2010
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Mediterranean Diet Recommendation for Women Trying to Conceive



A novel Dutch study finding indicated that those females trying to conceive had improved likelihood of a successful conception following ineffective infertility treatments when they followed a Mediterranean diet.

Study investigators from Netherlands noted that amongst the 161 pairs trying to conceive and being treated for infertility at their facility, females whose nutritive intake closely matched the conventional Mediterranean diet had a forty percent greater likelihood of conceiving.

But, the research conducted was observational wherein the investigators queried couples regarding their normal dietetic intakes, segregated them into sets on the basis of their diet pattern and then did a follow-up on the set’s results after fertility treatments.

The research finding published in the journal ‘Fertility and Sterility’ failed in corroborating that the diet on its own could augment success rates in fertility treatments and thus inconclusively proved cause-&-effect.

Helming the study, Dr. Regine P.M. Steegers-Theunissen recommended that couples trying to conceive and opting for fertility treatments should be eating a balanced dietetic intake comprising of healthful dosages of veggies, bean, fishes and vegetable oil.

Prior to undergoing treatment, the comprehensive survey filled in by the couples regarding their last month’s dietetic intake was evaluated by the study investigators. They spotted duo common diet pattern types in these females – the Mediterranean diet  being rich in veggies, fishes, bean and vegetable oils however skimping on snack food items while the health conscious diet was high in veggies, fruits, bean, fishes and whole-grains but curbing meats and snack food items).

Investigators observed that a third of females with the maximum scoring for adhering to the Mediterranean diet had a conception rate of thirty percent after in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection of eggs (ICSI). Conception rate was merely 25% among the 1/3rd of females that did not mostly follow the Mediterranean diet.

Dr. Steegers-Theunissen from the Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam along with associates took into consideration numerous other aspects like the age, weight, whether the woman smoked or engaged in drinking. There was no association found in-between so-dubbed health conscious diet and conception rates.

Since the investigators did not conduct an assessment of conception results hence the diet’s connection to the eventual success rate of the fertility treatments is unclear. However the researchers feel this study finding is the foremost step.

Though there are several resemblances in between health conscious diets and Mediterranean diet yet there are some likely factors that may impact success rate of fertility treatments.

The chief reason is the rich vegetable oil intake in the Mediterranean diet which has omega-6 fatty acids that are antecedents to hormone-similar substances inside the body known as prostaglandins which play a crucial role in the monthly period cycle, maintaining gestational period and ovulation.

Moreover, an observation that close adherence to the Mediterranean diet also translated to elevated vitamin B6 levels – that was higher than the levels observed in females who minimally adhered to the Mediterranean diet and in those women who were strict followers of the health conscious diet.

Study researchers also noted that outcomes of another research suggested that vitamin B6 when given to females having problems with conception raised their likelihood of conception.

Yet, dietetic intake is a part of an individual’s general lifestyle and the research failed in accounting for all the factors which might explicate the link in-between conception rates and the Mediterranean diet.

To prove that diet on its own could offer advantages would necessitate a scientific study wherein females would be arbitrarily allotted to adhere to a Mediterranean diet or a comparison diet.

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